Many people don’t know the difference in fear reactive dogs and aggressive dogs, which in turn can end fatally for the dog and injure a human without the proper knowledge. In many cases the human doesn’t know the right way to respond to a situation that could easily be solved by giving a fearful dog its space and helping it cope through its own emotions. That’s right I said emotions, unlike humans a dogs emotions are not as complex for them its; fear, joy, anger, relaxation- they live “in the now” as the dog whisperer Caesar Millan would say. They simply do not care who hurt them what was done to them in the past its all the emotions they feel at that moment- yes they can have a negative association with a thing that may have been in the past but they don’t remember said moment.
Fear, fear in dogs can translate into aggressive tendencies which throw people off making them quick to judge a dog and label them aggressive or unable to be saved. You are more likely to get a bite out of a fear reactive dog then an aggressive one, with that being said there are tons of differences in body language between the two. A fearful dog will try to make itself as small as possible and hide in a corner, they may also try to flee to get away from the situation. A dog I worked with in a rescue named Bear was this way at 8 months old his whole world turned around, scared of people he would back himself into a corner and bark; this bark was more of a warning and it had a waiver to it . Bears hair would lay flat his tail would be tucked between his legs and he would avoid eye contact with people. People who pushed it and tried to get to him in a hurry would get bit, but those who took their time to get him to ...
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... to get 15 stitches that day.
The body language is very clear in each instance of a fearful or aggressive dog, and in every instance of a dog bite with a human it has the possibility to be avoided. Yes some dogs are unpredictable but the majority of them have easy tells, if people would just take a class on body language half of the euthanasia cases would end. It’s disastrous for both humans and dogs that the ignorance of humans classifying fearful dogs as unpredictable or aggressive when all they need is an experienced person to give them the time they need. Aggressive dogs can be rehabilitated with the right person and trainer there is many options to deal with these kinds of dogs. I personally would like to think that my words are informative and that all people would like to embrace that dogs can be worked on just like delinquent kids can be it just takes time.
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